Weekly Feature Archives

Running into the Shadows

Posted March 19, 2021

In this On Belay story from Alpinist 73—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Uisdean Hawthorn writes about a new route that he and Ethan Berman climbed on the Emperor Face of Yexyexescen (Mt. Robson), which they named Running in the Shadows (VI AI5 M6 A0, 2000m). Hawthorn writes: "People will say, 'They timed it perfectly and got perfect conditions.' But in reality, we'd just stood there bleary-eyed in the dark, had a bit of confidence or perhaps a fear of failure, and we'd gone for it. It was only our curiosity that let us discover if the Emperor would be willing to accept our passage."

The End of One Beginning

Posted March 10, 2021

In this Sharp End story from Alpinist 73—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Editor-in-Chief Katie Ives writes, "By learning to see beyond one beginning [to histories of mountaineering], we might recall alternative ways to climb and to live."

Finding a new route on the Grand Teton: the North Buttress Direct (5.10+ R)

Posted February 8, 2021

Justin Bowen's dream came true this past August when his research confirmed that a potential route he'd been eyeing for years on the Grand Teton's north face had somehow remained overlooked by other climbers. He enlisted his friend Mark Jenkins to make the first ascent of the North Buttress Direct (5.10+ R, 14 pitches). Here is his story of their climb and the realization of a long-held fantasy.

The Fight for Workforce Equity on Kilimanjaro

Posted January 27, 2021

In this Wired story from Alpinist 72—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Marinel Malvar de Jesus collects stories of local guides and porters on Kilimanjaro as they confront the inequities of the mountain tourism industry and the new challenges of a global pandemic.

Elisabeth Revol's book "To Live" is an ode to Tomasz Mackiewicz and Nanga Parbat

Posted January 6, 2021

When Elisabeth Revol and Tomasz "Tomek" Mackiewicz reached the summit of Pakistan's Nanga Parbat (8125m) on the evening of January 25, 2018, they had completed the second winter ascent of Nanga Parbat, and Revol became the first woman to summit the mountain in winter. Their ordeal was just beginning, however. Revol's new book, "To Live: Fighting for Life on the Killer Mountain," translated into English by Natalie Berry, sheds light on her dramatic rescue and the loss of Mackiewicz. Emily Hopcian reports that the book "is a deeply human account of the nightmare Revol endured.... It is a detailed exploration of that January 2018 expedition interwoven with fragments of Revol's childhood in France; her introduction to and career in mountaineering; and her climbing partnership with Mackiewicz."

Glaciers Abound in Lynn Martel's new book, "Stories of Ice"

Posted December 24, 2020

Sarah Boon reviews Lynn Martel's latest book, "Stories of Ice: Adventure, Commerce and Creativity on Canada's Glaciers," which was published earlier this year. Boon describes the work as "a comprehensive look at how these features have shaped the ways people have traveled through and populated the land. Martel shows that we still have much to learn about the now-disappearing bodies of ice from the community of adventurers, entrepreneurs, scientists, and artists who have explored them."

And Then We Were Twelve

Posted December 19, 2020

In 1990 alpinist Barry Blanchard found himself trapped in a blizzard high on Yexyexescen (Mt. Robson), the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies—with eleven other climbers, two of whom were injured, and no certain way down. In this Full Value story from Alpinist 72—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Blanchard tells the story of how they all miraculously survived.

Tool Users: Modern Weather Forecasts

Posted December 3, 2020

In this Tool Users story from Alpinist 72—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Brandon Blackburn investigates one of the most paradigm-shifting tools of modern alpinism: accurate weather reports.

Falling into Place

Posted November 26, 2020

In this On Belay story from Alpinist 72—which is now on newsstands and in our online store—a young Michael Kennedy sets out in 1977 with two of his heroes, Jeff Lowe and George Lowe, on the Alaskan expedition that culminated in the first ascent of the famous Infinite Spur on Mt. Foraker/Sultana. Looking back on that summer, Kennedy recalls how the name of the route grew to represent "far more than the physical dimensions of the climb."

Meditations of a Dreamer

Posted November 2, 2020

We're sharing this story early from the upcoming issue of Alpinist 72 because it pertains to policies that may change depending on the outcome of the presidential election on November 3. In this story from the Climbing Life section of Alpinist 72, Mauricio Portillo writes of how he arrived in the US when he was only four, as his parents sought a "safer place to raise a family," and how he and other "Dreamers" later benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA), which gave them a "temporary stay from being deported to countries we hardly remember." Portillo grew up to become a high school teacher and a mountaineer, finding a sense of belonging on summits in the Pacific Northwest. Then in 2017 the Trump administration attempted to rescind the DACA program. In June 2020 the Supreme Court blocked the immediate canceling of the program, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing an opinion that the administration hadn't followed the correct procedure. Since then, the administration has stopped accepting new applications to the program, has begun requiring current DACA recipients to apply to renew their protections from deportation annually instead of every two years and has delivered ambiguous messages about the overall fate of Dreamers. (In contrast, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has promised, if elected, to "send a bill to Congress creating a clear roadmap to citizenship for Dreamers"). "There are approximately 800,000 Dreamers in the US today," Portillo writes, "and our future often feels more uncertain than an alpine climb."